Adam Schefter interviewed Miami Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel on his latest podcast, McDaniel spoke about his upbringing in the NFL and his plans with the Dolphins.
After talking about McDaniel’s early years in Yale and the Broncos, Schefter asked McDaniel what his goals were for the team:
"“My goals are to empower all the people [I] work with so they can do their job the best, whether it’s player, coach, or staff member it doesn’t matter. Everyone working together can achieve a common goal.”"
McDaniel followed that up by stating that becoming a head coach was a dream of his since he was 18, but now that the hard work has become a reality he’s had to learn a lot and will continue to learn as he gets better.
Adam Schefter: “You brought up the Shanahan’s. How indebted are you to Mike and Kyle [Shanahan] for the job you have today, and the road you’ve traveled in the NFL?”
"“I mean everything, literally everything. It’s hard to put words to it because what does the house look like if there’s no foundation?”Schefter: “There’s no house.”“That’s the hardest thing to put words too, but it’s opportunity for one.”"
McDaniel later then also stated:
"“It goes back to seeing Mike Shanahan, seeing a 5’9″ guy be a head coach. I knew that was different and im sure at the time there was people that said this, or that because he didn’t look a certain type of way.”“I get that a lot now and I don’t even blink, because it’s something I’ve seen since I was 10 or 12 [years old].”"
Very interesting for McDaniel to bring up Mike Shanahan’s height, he’s seen a blueprint to success in a legendary coach that won 3 Super Bowls and resembles him in a way. HOF tight end Shannon Sharpe often brings up Mike Shanahan and what a great leader of men he was.
McDaniel is well aware of his public perception as a new HC, and the doubts surrounding his ability to be a leader of men.
These words by McDaniel are nice to hear, definitely inspiring for him. But I won’t be taken away by it or think he’s heading even remotely close to Shanahan until it translates to results on the field.
Adam Schefter stated he talked to Mike and Kyle [Shanahan], and they said they “always held McDaniel in high regard, but he had to grow up, mature, and evolve into the person he is today.”
"“That’s something that goes back to the Washington days, Mike and Kyle [Shanahan] would tell me I need to grow up, they were saying that to me and I didn’t figure it out.”“[Now] when I reflect on it I realize I grew up with no pattern to follow… if you try to set your own trend you’re going to hit some hiccups. Looking at things without the right scope or perspective you’re going to render yourself vulnerable to being in hindsight dumb, childish, or immature.”“There was some professionalism I didn’t model myself after, I had to go through different things to get shaped into that. it took me a while to get into that adult thing.”"
McDaniel did always show a flamboyant personality in San Francisco, and I think with time as he gets more comfortable being the HC of the Miami Dolphins the fanbase will have the chance to see that side of him more often.
And speaking about the fanbase, Adam Schefter reminded McDaniel about him being the only coach in the NFL that has come out of Yale, besides Dick Jauron. Schefter then asked McDaniel what it would mean to him to become the first HC from Yale to win a Super Bowl:
"“You know what’s funny? this is how deep it is, when you say that all I can think about is that the Miami Dolphins fanbase has not won a playoff game in 22 years. They’re so loyal, what would they mean to them?”"
I know it means a lot to the fanbase that the head coach acknowledges the state of the franchise, and is in touch with what Dolphins fans have dealt with for the past 20 plus years. This is something that the fanbase never got to hear from Brian Flores or Adam Gase, but I also know this fanbase is very skeptical based on all the mediocrity they’ve dealt with in the past.
All in all I think there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic, scratch that let’s say cautiously optimistic. McDaniel stated that no matter what happens he is going to give it his all every single day, and every single Sunday.
Based on McDaniel’s success in San Francisco, the staff he has put together for the Dolphins, and his vision for the team I think he has built a strong foundation for success in Miami. But like I said before, the potential on paper means nothing until it translates on the field.
The Dolphins have had underwhelming results to high potential outlooks for way too many years in the NFL, Mike McDaniel has to be the one to change that if he wants to fulfill the promising vision he has for this team.
We’re off to a good start so far, but I won’t get ahead of myself. There’s a long time until the 2022 regular season, and McDaniel now has to collaborate with Chris Grier in making successful moves in free agency.
Listen to Adam Schefter’s full interview here.